[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Election Commission, which has drawn flak for not delay in announcing Gujarat assembly poll schedule, likely to declare election dates by Wednesday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in poll-bound Gujarat on Sunday – his third visit to his home-state this month – to inaugurate several big-ticket projects and lay the foundation stones for several others in Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts. The visit is a clear attempt by the Prime Minister to endear voters to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the Election Commission announces the schedule for the impending Gujarat Assembly polls, something that the poll panel had deferred earlier this month for inexplicable reasons.
The most crucial project that Modi is set to inaugurate during the day-long visit is the first phase of the Rs 615-crore ‘roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch. The ferry service through the Gulf of Cambay, which the Prime Minister has often hailed as his dream project, is expected to drastically reduce the distance and travelling time between the two towns from 310 kilometres by road to just 30 kilometres. The foundation stone of this ferry project had been laid by Modi in January 2012, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to address a mammoth gathering in Ghogha, during which he is also likely to announce some other sops for the state, before he undertakes a journey to Dahej in the ferry’s maiden ride.
Modi will then leave for Vadodara where he will inaugurate and lay foundation stones for eight projects worth an estimated Rs 1140 crore. Vadodara was one of the two constituencies that Modi had contested the Lok Sabha polls from in May 2014, the other being Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Though he had defeated his nearest rival, Congress’ Madhusudan Mistry by a record margin of 5.70 lakh votes from Vadodara, Modi had surrendered the seat after becoming Prime Minister and retained Varanasi as his Lok Sabha constituency from where he had won by a margin of 3.71 lakh against Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Vinod Rao said that during his visit to the district, Modi will dedicate to the people a slew of civic infrastructure projects including a Rs 100-crore city command and control centre in Badamadi Garden, Rs 125-crore Janmahal city transport hub and multi-level parking project, a Rs 160 crore multi-modal city transport hub and a Rs 267 crore waste-to- energy processing plant. Other projects to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in Vadodara include a Rs 166-crore water treatment plant, two flyovers collectively worth Rs 265 crore, a Rs 55-crore deer safari park, and a Rs 6-crore veterinary hospital.
On his last visit to Vadodara on October 22 last year, Modi had inaugurated a new building for the city’s airport terminal.
Modi is also scheduled to address a public rally at Navlakhi compound in Vadodara.
This is the third visit of the Prime Minister to his poll-bound home state this month. He had visited Gandhinagar on Monday to address BJP workers at the Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammellan when he hit out at the Congress party for “insulting Gujarat and Gujarati pride”. Prior to that, Modi had visited his home town of Vadnagar on October 8 and also inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various projects in Rajkot, Vadnagar, Gandhinagar, and Bharuch.
In September, Modi along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had visited Ahmedabad to lay the foundation stone for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project. Days later, the Prime Minister, in an event coinciding with his 67th birthday on September 17, he had dedicated the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada to the nation.
The Prime Minister’s apparent rush to inaugurate projects in Gujarat in quick succession while also laying the foundation stones for several others is an evident attempt at influencing voter sentiments in his home-state that is scheduled to go to polls in December.
The Congress party has, over the past few days, been unwavering in its criticism of the Election Commission for delaying the announcement of the poll schedule for Gujarat and has alleged that the move by the poll panel was aimed at allowing the BJP and Modi to announce several sops and projects for the state to woo the electorate.
Earlier this week, Congress veteran P Chidambaram had taken a dig at both, Prime Minister Modi and the Election Commission for the delay in the announcement of the Gujarat poll dates.
Besides the Congress and other Opposition parties, even former chief election commissioners like SY Quraishi and TS Krishnamurthy had criticised the poll panel’s decision.
Sources in the poll panel said that the dates for the Gujarat assembly polls are now likely to be announced by Wednesday and that the state may witness a two-phase election. The result for the Himachal and Gujarat assembly polls, however, is likely to be announced simultaneously on December 18.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moves Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, says census, delimitation necessary
Congress MP Rajneeth Ranjan stated that they want rights, adding that women don’t want to be pitied.
Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moved the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Addressing the house, the Union Law Minister noted that census and delimitation are necessary for the quota bill. He further expressed that the historic bill would bring equality to women.
The Union Law Minister underlined that through the Constitutional Amendment Bill, a section will be inserted in Article 330, Article 332 and Article 334. Through these, 1/3rd of the seats will be reserved in Lok Sabha and all State Assemblies of the country, he continued. Arjun Ram Meghwal further hailed that this bill is a major step ahead.
Initiating a debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill, BJP President J P Nadda praised Prime MInister Narendra Modi for the quota bill. He mentioned that the bill will strengthen women’s empowerment. The BJP President further expressed confidence that the Women’s Reservation Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha unanimously without any obstacles.
On the other hand, debating on the historic bill, Congress MP Rajneeth Ranjan stated that they want rights, adding that women don’t want to be pitied. Referring to the name of bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, the Congress MP remarked that the government should not bow down to them, but provide them equal rights and equal opportunities.
As far as reports are concerned, the Rajya Sabha will allocate seven and a half hours for the bill’s discussion and it is widely expected to receive approval in the Upper House. After the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, it will require the approval of the majority of state assemblies. Notably, the implementation of the historic bill will occur following a delimitation exercise based on census data completion. Reportedly, this is the seventh attempt to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Women Reservation Bill: Here’s a look at 20 states with 50% quota for women in panchayats, municipalities
At present, there are 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and municipalities across the country.
Taking a significant step ahead, the Women’s Reservation Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the special session of the Parliament on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition to unanimously pass the bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. The Women’s Reservation bill was stuck for almost three decades.
While the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to provide a 33 per cent quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies remained stuck, around 20 states witnessed 50% reservations for women in local government bodies. As far as reports are concerned, at present, there are 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and municipalities across the country.
States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have made provisions for 50% reservation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions in their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts.
Evidently, the move for reservation for women in local bodies dates back to 1992 and 1993, when the then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao reintroduced the Constitution Amendment Bills 72 and 73, which reserved one third (33%) of all seats and chairperson posts for women in rural and urban local bodies. The Bills were passed by both the houses. Earlier, in May 1989, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill to provide one-third reservation for women in rural and urban local bodies. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha but failed to get passed in Rajya Sabha in September 1989.
Echoing the contribution of the aforesaid leaders in Women’s Reservation, several Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, KC Venugopal took the credit of the bill. However, though the Women’s Reservation Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha, the legislation will come into effect after the next delimitation exercise, which might be carried out after 2026. At present, only 14% of the members in the Indian Parliament are women.
Furthermore, it is to be noted that in 1988, the National Perspective Plan for Women recommended the provision of reservation for women at various political levels, from Panchayati Raj institutions to Parliament.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury holds Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs enter new Parliament building | Watch
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury emphasized the importance of the old Parliament building.
Leader of Opposition in the Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury held the Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs including Rahul Gandhi, Gaurav Gogoi entered into the new Parliament building, designated as Parliament House of India. Following the programme at Central Hall on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other MPs moved towards the new Parliament building.
Earlier, addressing at the Central Hall, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury emphasized the importance of the old Parliament building. He expressed that he feels elevated and elated for standing in the podium that has witnessed a caravan of historical episodes and events in the midst of the galaxy of luminaries who had racked up their brains and burned the midnight oil to frame the Constitution of India.
In addition, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also questioned the timeframe that the Centre has set for the nation to turn into a developed nation. He asked why India cannot become a developed country before 2047. He also called for sustainable solutions and measures to resolve the nation’s issues.
Meanwhile, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge recalled Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech, and thanked the Prime Minister for remembering it during his opening speech on Monday. Speaking at the Central Hall, the Congress President said working together is the only way to build the country. He also remembered the contributions made by Rajendra Prasad, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, BR Ambedkar, GV Malvankar, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan among others.
The parliamentary proceeding will now shift from the old building to the state-of-the-art new facility. Notably, the historic shift takes place on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. On the first day of the Parliament Special Session, all members of the Parliament gathered at the old Parliament building to recall their experiences there. PM Modi also paid tribute to every brick of the old Parliament building, mentioning that it would inspire the coming generations.